Towards a Better Tomorrow
Green Construction Technology, also known as Green Construction, is the execution of design in structures, buildings and commercial spaces that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient during the building’s life cycle, i.e., from the stage of planning to design, construction, operation, maintenance, restoration and demolition. It typically covers everything from geothermal heating to energy-efficient appliances.
The concept of Green Construction Technology is often referred to as ‘Sustainable Construction Technology’, which suggests that the structure is designed in a manner that it accepts an eco-friendly design, which would ease attaining lower energy consumption, water conservation, reduced material utilization, waste minimization, lesser emissions, while simultaneously enhancing the recycled constituents of green products.
Green constructors ensure that the building site leads to minimal environmental harm, and use cost-efficient and resilient building technologies. According to data, global building and construction actions consume 3 billion tons of raw materials every year. By using green building technology, we can lessen this number without compromising the sturdiness and strength of the structures.
Why Do We Need Green Construction?
The 21st century has generated new environmental challenges, including – dearth of resources, unpredictable weather patterns, melting glaciers, and contaminated water. A majority of these uncalled-for developments are a result of human’s not-so-green lifestyle.
In addition, India has a population of more than 1.2 billion…
- 31% of Indian population lives in urban areas.
- 700% increase in commercial energy consumption has been witnessed in the last 4 decades and the numbers are rising.
- In the next 10 years, energy consumption in India will touch 4 trillion units.
- There is a shortage of average 225 million litre water/per day in key Indian cities, and 21 Indian cities are expected to run out of water by 2030.
The need of the hour is to instantly undo this harmful trend and make intensive efforts to stop any additional deterioration of our environment, in an attempt to ensure a safer and sustainable future.
Undoubtedly, Green Building construction and technology presents one big solution to this unsustainable growth. It can also help in achieving the certain critical objectives of these in an efficiently. These objectives are as follows:
- Protecting Occupant Health
- Improving Employee Productivity
- Conservation of Energy, Water, and Other Fast Depleting Resources
- Reduce the use of Energy, Water, and Other Fast Depleting Resources
- Lower Carbon Footprint – Reducing the Overall Impact to the Environment
- Better Indoor Air
Elements Of Green Building Design And Technology
The materials and technologies actively used by builders and developers across the world include:
Net Zero Concept
Net zero or Zero energy buildings are constructed to efficiently function autonomous of the usual electric grid. Zero energy homes are specifically built to be extremely energy efficient with passive solar designs and excellent insulation. Such buildings can produce their own power through renewable energy sources. The annual net energy consumption of these structures is zero. Also, there are no carbon emissions, as it largely relies on renewable energy supplies like solar or wind power, or biofuels for heating.
HVAC (Heating, Ventilation And Air Conditioning)
The majority of a building’s energy demands are devoted to heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC). Hence, this particular field has become an important point for innovation. The main objective of an HVAC system is to reduce the electricity consumption of the building from the electricity grid. Today, all modern constructions employ HVAC systems; warm, cool or dehumidified air flows into all the rooms of a home through a series of ducts. HVAC Systems comprise of water-cooled screw chillers with a high coefficient of performance and eco-friendly refrigerant.
Choosing low emitting materials results in protection of the overall environment. In addition, it also helps the building projects achieve Green building credits from agencies like LEED, IGBC and GRIHA.
The low-emitting materials credit is applicable to a variety of building products which include – interior paints and coatings applied on-site; interior adhesives and sealants applied on-site; flooring; composite wood; ceilings; walls; thermal and acoustic insulation; commercial and residential furnishings.
In winters, insufficient or damaged roof insulation allows the heat to easily escape and during summers, heat gained through the roof not only increases the cooling load, but also the electricity demands. A cool roof is a sustainable green building technology, which aims at reflecting the heat and sunlight away. Such roof reflects more sun’s rays than an average shingle roof, and averts the warm/cool air inside the home from escaping through the building roof.
The typical design of a cool roof uses special tiles and reflective paints, which absorb less heat and reflect most of the solar radiation. These roofs help in reducing the reliance on air conditioning systems, which consequently, helps in dropping the energy use and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Cool roofs can be created with several materials, including special reflective paint, and cool roof shingles and tiles.
Energy-efficient heating can only keep a building warm if there is sufficient thermal insulation to keep the heat inside. The insulators are wall filters, which do not require the application of costly and highly finished materials. Thus, identifying basic insulating materials is very important. The basic insulating materials include – wool insulation materials, slag slabs, natural fibre insulation materials, cementitious foam insulation materials, gasket cork sheet, insulation facings, among others.
Moreover, the use of green insulation has shown to be a sustainable construction technology, which aids reduction of the need for high-end finishes made from non-renewable materials, denim insulation, cellulose insulation, glass insulation, cotton insulations, etc.
Today, solar power is one of the most used sustainable green building technologies. Primarily in green construction, it is being used in two ways:
– Active Solar Power – This uses functional solar systems that absorb the sun’s radiation to provide for heating and electricity provision.
– Passive Solar Power – This design uses the sun’s rays to warm homes through the strategic placement of windows and the use of heat-absorbing surfaces.
Green building technologies emphasize the installation of energy saving and self-sufficient home appliances. SmartGrid refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, micro oven are some of these technologies, which aim to create zero-energy homes and commercial buildings.
Several water efficient technologies are a part of sustainable construction. Minimizing water use is attained by putting in greywater and rainwater catchment systems that recycle water for irrigation or toilet flushing; water-efficient appliances, such as low flow showerheads, self-closing or spray taps; low-flush toilets, or waterless composting toilets. Further, installing point of use hot water systems and lagging pipes saves on water heating.